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Words as Influence in Activism - Live with Pip Williams, The Dictionary of Lost Words

In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. No one exactly knows how and why.


The Dictionary of Lost Words, a Reese Witherspoon's bookclub pick, tells the possibilities of the lost words of women and the working class, words which never made it into the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. We go to time when the first edition of The Oxford Dictionary was compiled under the backdrop of the women's suffrage movement in England.


As activists, we use words to reveal our experiences and push for political and legal action. Pip Williams joins SAHR live to discuss words, the power that goes behind why some words exist and why some words just perish.


🫶🏽 Join us for a heart 🤍 full dialogue




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As activists, we have invented new words such as genocide, we have given new meanings to words such as harassment, and we have claimed back words such as suffragette.


The work of words ultimately is an act of influence - in each submission we write, in each position paper, declaration, in our articles, art and music - words is what we use to visibilise suffering, claim space, and posit new theories of how we can equalise our existence.

Baldwin said: "My quarrel with the English language has been that the language reflected none of my experience."

The Dictionary of Lost Words is about the words of women and the working class, which never made it into the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing. No one exactly knows how and why.


In The Dictionary of Lost Words, we go into the world of English words, when the first edition of The Oxford Dictionary was compiled under the backdrop of the women's suffrage movement in England.


We are having this conversation to get back in touch with our words, the words which have been discarded, the words which we must own and then - the words we are creating.








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